Monday, August 31, 2020

1100 New Britain Avenue

Driving along a familiar street in the southern part of West Hartford, my head jerked to the left when I saw a brilliantly painted office building.  Turns out that last year a new owner hired Ben Keller, a young artist from eastern Connecticut, to paint a mural on the side of his building.

The mural depicts a local farmer and industrialist, a horse from a long ago race track, an abstract section the artist says indicates the future of West Hartford, a singer with West Hartford connections, and a Tibetan woman who now lives in West Hartford but has scaled Mount Everett nine times. 

A nice touch is Keller's use of an otherwise wasted space to list some of the publications that have named West Hartford as a noteworthy community.

Visit Monday Murals to see a link to this post and other blogs featuring murals.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Simsbury Bikes!

 A rusty bicycle sculpture greets visitors to Simsbury at the start of a bicycle path along Route 10.

A nearby sign proudly reports that Simsbury in 2010 was named the first Bicycle Friendly Community in Connecticut by the League of American Bicyclists.  Regrettably, I didn't see a sign crediting the sculptor.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Forever Marilyn

 Another Seward Johnson statue is exhibited in Simsbury, in front of Metro Bis Restaurant and Bistro.

"Forever Marilyn" is taken from an image of Marilyn Monroe in the Billy Wilder Film, The Seven Year Itch.  It might be the way most of my generation remembers her.  

The original HUGE version of Forever Marilyn is in Palm Springs.  

I saw it a few years ago in New Jersey in a sculpture garden devoted to Johnson's work, and I have seen another life-sized version like this one in Key West.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Day Off

 A father and son fish from the Flower Bridge in Simsbury, Connecticut.

A 1989 sculpture by Seward Johnson.  Part of a Johnson art series in Simsbury this summer. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Heublein House

Gilbert Heublein founded a successful alcoholic beverages company in the late 19th century.  It was sold to R.J.Nabisco in 1982.  The Heubleins' winter home on the West Hartford side of Prospect Avenue is for sale for ~$620,000 . . . a pittance in many other real estate markets.

The Heubleins' summer home in a tower atop Avon Mountain has been featured here many other times.  Here is one such post.  My family has always loved hiking up to the tower to savor the views.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Some Elizabeth Park Visitors

 On a recent visit to Elizabeth Park I met some interesting people and saw some others in the distance.

A mother photographed her young daughter in the rose garden.

Lenox is 14 months old.  She visited the park with her very sociable mother, Jen. 

Lenox didn't express any opinions.

Awina is a rising junior at Southern Connecticut State University.  She sat alone on a rose garden bench and thought big thoughts.  Awina came to the USA from Liberia seven years ago.

An Indian woman posed for her husband.

A wedding party hustled to their venue.

And Vicanda was posing for her Sweet Sixteen photographs.  Sixteen?  27?  I can't tell.

Sunday, August 23, 2020


What would you do with a long-unused bathroom facility standing empty in Elizabeth Park for decades?

Why, you would renovate it and turn it into a visitors center and gift shop. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Annual Garden

Despite a late start this year, Elizabeth Park's annual garden has hit its stride.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Bees and Butterflies


A pair of silver-spotted skippers flitted around monarda (bee balm).

Joe-Pye weed attracts many bees.

A bee on a rose of Sharon bloom is doused in pollen.

A hummingbird moth (also known as a snowberry clearwing) moves quickly and unpredictably.

I was lucky to catch it still for a moment.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Sweet Sixteen


Another night walk around the neighborhood.

Happy sixteenth birthday, Abbey.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Lola and Sequoia


Lola (in front) and Sequoia are both well into middle age and on their ways to senior status.  They are less frantic now than when they were younger.  Lola is a bit lighter in color and weight and has a pink nose.  She is the adventurous and independent one.  Sequoia likes to be within reach of her humans.

Monday, August 17, 2020

A Cormorant


Elizabeth Park's great blue heron wasn't around, but a few cormorants were there,

including one that hung out near me.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Wedding Pictures


On the weekend, Elizabeth Park is full of brides, grooms, wedding parties and guests.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Some Recent People

My friend Tom is a fifth grade science teacher.  He is worried about being exposed to covid-19 
when school re-opens but he is not emotionally ready to retire.

A young man was taking photos of Tnasia In the Elizabeth Park rock garden.  I offered to photograph the two of them together.  He declined and told me to photograph Tnasia.  So, I did.
The lighting and position weren't the best.  Sometimes you just work with what you are given.

Jill's tattooed arm filled with macarons caught my eye at Lavender Pond Farm.
She is a pastry chef in Boston.  

Chris is a photographer and videographer active on Instagram as @faceyshotit.
The NASA jacket is just a jacket.  No special meaning.

Chris was in Elizabeth Park photographing Brittney, a fellow Instagrammer (@bryttne_xoxo) with 253,000 followers.  Gasp!  Brittney just moved to Colorado to pursue a masters in 
biomedical science on her way to realizing her dream of becoming a doctor.

Gerald is a lawyer specializing in workers compensation.

I took all portraits while masked and using a long telephoto lens, 
so I was further away than might seem from the images.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

WiFi is Back

Nine days without the internet or cable or TV.  Storm Isaias clobbered West Hartford. 

People went for walks, talked to neighbors, read books. 

What else can you do when modern life is disrupted?  

Some even learned how to do blog posts from their cell phones. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A Pandemic Parable

No office workers.  No college students.  No residents.
No business.  Good-bye.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Near the Hartford Golf Club

The part of West Hartford south of the Hartford Golf Club has some big and
elegant homes built in the period from 1910 to 1940.

This house has always been a favorite, but every other time I have gone past with my camera, 
there have been trucks or cars or construction marring the scene.

Tudor is a popular choice in this neighborhood.